Look, I’m sorry you needed to stop by this article to have the news broken to you, but if you want success, it is 100 percent out there for you to go and grab by the balls. You have to want it. It will not be handed to you. It is not owed to you. Every day, consumers vote with their dollars. They have a choice. You, we, as business owners, have to give them a reason to spend those dollars with us. And average? That just ain't gonna cut it.
So many of you are excited and proud to be in business. That pride overshadows how you’ve ignored focusing on the education of your target audience. Whether you offer new services or new products, your success is about making sure each client understands why you’re worth the money they’re about to spend on you.
I love to travel. I love learning about different cultures, tasting new food and seeing new things. It seems we all have a bit of the travel bug, which is awesome. I don’t know a single photographer who wouldn’t love to make money while traveling. But how? You need a business plan outlining how you will pay for your travel. This month, I tell you how I got started and how I run the traveling portion of my business.
My single greatest business achievement is my return client base. They all are of means, and they stick with me year after year even though they have lots of options and they are informed consumers. Their unwavering support means more to me than anything I could accomplish photographically. New photographers coming up are very talented and competition can be fierce. The fact that my clients stick with me keeps me going. It forces me to level up my craft, my product offerings, my marketing.
You have probably already figured it out. Gen Z is taking over, and they are not like their millennial predecessors. This is the first generation born with technology. They expect it to be everywhere and to always work. Where does that leave us as photographers and business owners? Welcome to the world of reinvention. Senior portraits are different than they were 20 years ago. Heck, they’re different than they were five years ago. The kids are different, their personalities are different and the final product is different. Below are some ideas for thriving with a new generation of seniors.
As a wedding photographer, you should be filling your calendar with free leads from fellow vendors. I mean, aren’t they grateful? Haven’t they seen all the amazing photos on your blog? Without your images, no one beyond the guest list would ever see the flowers, fashion and decor they create—at least not in the appealing and professional way you photograph them. If you want to get on a wedding planner’s good side, see your name on a venue’s referral list or even become the go-to personal photographer for wedding vendors everywhere, consider the following tips.
You read that title right. All other things equal, marketing is the reason I see most businesses fail. They ether don’t do it at all or, quite frankly, they suck at it. And no, running a Facebook Ad is not marketing. There are time-worn strategies that go into marketing. You don’t just do something and magic happens. You need a plan. You then must execute that plan. You then evaluate the results, make adjustments and re-execute your plan. Rinse and repeat.
For a long time I despised marketing because I did not have a strategy for our B2B video and photo company. Anything that I had tried, like posting on Facebook and Instagram or email marketing, did not seem to work for me. These strategies work when done well, but I did not figure them out and was getting frustrated. A mentor told me to look at my best clients—the 80/20 rule—and figure out the commonality between all of them. Were they all the same type of business? Did they all have the same product or service? Did they all find us through Google?
We’ve all been there. Things just aren’t working out. Jobs aren’t coming in. So you panic. You need work. You need to pay the rent. You need to keep your head above water. This is all about you, you, you. But it’s not about you. It’s all about them.
As a wedding photographer, social media is one of the strongest marketing and branding tools at our disposal. It’s also the most time-consuming task, taking us away from our passion of running our own photography business. It’s the end of engagement season, so marketing is a top priority for wedding photography businesses. Social media is where most newly engaged couples hang out digitally these days, but that’s not the only way to get in front of them. How can you make sure you’re doing your best job at marketing when everything keeps changing?